Stephen and Florence Gabriel have been married for 8 years but have been getting into each others' way for at least the last two ? no longer does their cramped townhouse function for their family of four. With two boys under the age of three, they need a whole lot more space and now money for that matter. After searching high and low for their dream home, they've come to the realization that in order to get what they want, they will have to buy a dump, completely gut it and add a second floor. In true Gabriel fashion, neither of them can get on the same page, which is already costing them time and money. Then a $15,000 scare threatens to put major cracks in their budget and renovation plans!
It's time to raise the roof on the Gabriel's 1970s home reno project. They're now two weeks in, behind schedule and already over budget ? not off to a great start. To add insult to injury, no one seems to be agreeing on the design layout, which is causing stress and tension between Florence, Stephen and their contractor. It's also costing them time, and time is money! Steve tries to take matters into his own hands but ends up threatening the integrity of their house. Add in a severe windstorm and their hopes of finishing their 'forever home' on time and within budget are blown away.
With construction moving into high gear, Stephen and Florence slow things down to go over their bulging budget and uncontrollable schedule. They soon realize that they need to do more construction work themselves in addition to doing something they never thought they'd have to do. After sorting that out, Stephen and Florence hit the design stores for some shopping and get down to business with a couple DIY projects. Just when they think they've got things under control, Steve gets a call from the contractor with news that grinds everything to a halt.
The Gabriel's dream of ditching their rental is slowly coming true. It's time to tackle their second floor so that they can move in to their new home once and for all. To help make it a reality, they must finish off the boys' bedroom, boy's bathroom, create a 'His and (mostly) Hers' den and install the hardwood floors. The only problem? Florence has very little confidence left in Stephen's handyman skills but must let him take charge so they can continue saving money. With Florence micromanaging Stephen's DIY project and Stephen having to make a variety of design compromises, this couple puts their playful relationship to the test.
Stephen and Florence quickly realize that living through a home reno with two young boys is not as easy as they thought; even with a finished second floor. Together, they decide to shift their focus from finishing their master bedroom to completing the kitchen and main floor. With this home reno far from being done, it's imperative they stay within their tight budget of $35,000 and even tighter schedule ? not something this couple knows how to do very well. Florence decides to invite their friends over to help take the pressure off. BUT, when Stephen and Florence decide to throw a 'Thank You' party in their new kitchen, Florence runs into a problem that could leave her guests hungry for the night.
Florence and Stephen have been through a lot during this reno which makes the master bedroom the perfect project to complete next. It's time for them to focus on each other and create a little private getaway from the rest of the house. The only trick is they have $10,000 for the whole space and, as per usual, Stephen is already making expensive decisions on his own ? a recipe for more relationship rows. Add design disagreements and a delivery error into the mix and you've got a very unhappy couple. Florence loses her patience and decides to take a back seat approach, which leaves Stephen to finish off their master bedroom.
The Gabriel's are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel but they can't slow down just yet. There are still two major reno projects yet to be completed and are $40,000 over budget. Stephen and Florence have an emergency re-group to realistically figure out what they can accomplish with their unfinished basement. Florence would like a kids play area and an in-law suite while Stephen would like an open concept man cave. To help save some money, Stephen again agrees to get his hands dirty, which leaves him in charge of the basement layout plans. What could go wrong!? When Stephen has to go away on business, Florence is more than happy to take over. Little does Stephen know, Florence has a surprise for him up her sleeve.
Stephen and Florence are out of money and out of patience but still have their front yard to finish. It's time for them to get creative with their curb appeal and keep their fingers crossed for a smooth sailing project. However, nothing ever seems to go as planned for the Gabriel's. With their total home reno now costing a quarter million dollars, construction dilemmas and delays simply cannot happen anymore if they are to finish with some dignity. BUT with their front lawn destroyed from construction, a brand new, wonky garage door and their second floor balcony integrity being threatened? their house just might end up being the ugly, unfinished house on the block.